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FROM THE DRUG GANGS OF DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS, THE ONE TRUE KING WILL ARISEKing Has Been Betrayed, But He Has No Time To Lick His Wounds He Has To Draw His People Together To Fight The Ultimate Foe In This Conclusion To The Stunning Knights Of Breton Court TrilogyFile Under Urban Fantasy Street Gangs Drug Wars Wild Magic Betrayal E Book ISBN In my head I heard the song Killing Me Softly, while reading this novel Not the Roberta Flack version, but the Fugees version, with Wyclef and Pras yelling over the track Maurice Broaddus killed me softly with his words, bastard made me cry It was like someone kept peeling onions every time I turned a page This whole series was amazing for me, mostly because it was so relevant and resonated.I love Urban Fantasy, it s one of my favorite genres, but the descriptor Urban Fantasy is a bit of a misnomer in most cases The stories are seldom very urban , at least urban in the way the word is used to describe anything else in modern society Some novels don t even take place in a city at all and are called Urban Fantasy I think a better term would probably be Modern Fantasy Anyway, this novel is urban It involves city dwellers, the hood, the barrio, and the streets It seems dark because it s so close to reality Broaddus depicts the streets of Indianapolis in light few people ever see and does it masterfully It s like The Wire with magic, or Menace II Society mixed with a touch of magical realism Its misguided gangster youth bending the fabric of reality If T.S Elliot co wrote the Once and Future King with David Simon this is what you have Wights, swords, switchblades, dragons, redcaps, fey, zombies and crack dealers What can you ask for The story is the third in the trilogy, and ends as it is supposed to If you re familiar with the Arthurian mythos then there will be no surprises for you as far as the story goes, but Broaddus does keep the plot interesting with his version In all of the books you re told that all stories end in pain and death King and his knights have to prepare to make a stand against Dredd and his army of gangsters To save their neighborhood, that has to regain their trust in each other, and their faith in king Friends are lost, love is lost and gained, and hope is given to a group of people that thought they were lost long ago.My favorite aspects of this novel were the verisimilitude and the characterization The language could be a problem for some, I was fearful of it while reading, like No Maurice, people won t read it now You won t get the credit you deserve Whyyyyyyy I was over reacting I was fearful that the use of the n word wouldn t lend credibility to the tale, but make readers shy away or discredit the narrative somehow Having assimilated into mainstream society the word makes me cringe, you never know how people will react Some take it as an excuse to be harmful, many use it and other words as rungs on a ladder to gain position and self assurance over others, but at the end it s just a word like any other and I m glad the author treats it thus I was nervous, but thankfully Broaddus doesn t misuse it, glorify it, or shy away from it It is what it is, just like in everyday life, people say what they want, and the combination of the rough language with Broaddus prose is credible and tasteful Some will be put off regardless, but this novel probably wasn t for them anyway The vernacular is quite hood, but the inner monologues and narration beautifully portray the hopelessness of being born into a tragic situation These characters make mistakes or have made mistakes they don t beg for help, they just live The characters don t excuse their actions they just show you their point of view The reason why I love fantasy as a genre is because under the layers of magic, fey, dragons, and knights you have a real story about people or politics or some other issue Fantasy disguises novels about the human condition in a way much palatable This novel, this series is about how teenagers and children unprotected are forced to live by any means necessary It s about the choices we make and how you have to live with them And it s about standing for something, believing in something no matter if it will cost you everything to do so Fighting losing battles because it s about the fight, not the win Verisimilitude, the bastard made me cry.If you don t like the dark, turn your head from the news when it s not a fluff piece or hated the wire this probably isn t for you If you don t mind a little reality with your fantasy, then dig in It s worth the read. This third and what seems like final installment of Broaddus Indianapolis street gang saga begins with an unspeakable act of violence as two gangs battle for supremacy in the wake of King s most recent setbacks It seems he s getting soft and the time is at hand for a new leader to take charge of the inner city underworld And when King is shot during an ambush, his rival, Dred, begins to draw as many as he can over to his side as his magical abilities grow stronger.For those new to this series, it s basically a modern day re telling of the King Arthur legend, using hood gangs in place of knights, prostitutes in place of princesses, and a wise old man in place of the grand wizard The series strength has been its ability to blend fantasy elements dragons, magic, and strange creatures right alongside the gritty, realistic, every day street lifestyle, and Broaddus brings this even stronger here than in the first two novels There s also a deeper spiritual element this time, plenty of twists, surprises, and emotional depth that should satisfy those who have been hanging around Breton Court these past couple of years.While I think a novel centered around street gangs could ve used some fight scenes the final battle even seemed a bit rushed , Broaddus manages to keep the pace moving from the gripping prologue right through the unexpected conclusion, and whether this is the final installment or the beginning of a new chapter at Breton Court, things are wrapped up quite nicely Some good stuff here. After I finally read the first book in this trilogy I read the second installment, King s Justice, first since I got it before King Maker , I was ready to dive into the final showdown on Breton Court Reading a series out of order usually comes with some peril, so I was a little hesitant how much trouble I d have getting into the story even though I d counted the second book among my ten favorites last year despite having skipped the first at the time.I d retained enough in the year plus since I d read King s Justice to know King James White s quest to bring peace to Breton Court and rally his knights has basically fallen apart at the seams, leaving his nemesis Dred and his cohorts from the Phoenix Apartments to capitalize and make his move to dominate and bring even tyranny to the Indianapolis inner city King is not only down on himself, but brokenhearted after discovering Lady G cheated on him with right hand man, Lott Lady G and Lott, despondent over their betrayal to King, go their separate ways, each punishing themselves in different ways Meanwhile, crazy ol Merle tries to salvage the situation and keep destiny on track, while King s son, Prez, has aspirations of following in his father s footsteps and proving his worth to the cause by striking out on his own to infiltrate Dred s crew.Again, the book focuses less on a single character like King, instead offering a mosaic of the community, shifting from one character to the next It can be disorienting on occasion, but when ample time is dedicated to one character or one scene, the story progresses with a riveting pace And just like the previous two books, it s the supporting characters that steal the show Heck, there are times when I find the whole Arthurian allusion inconsequential, because the people populating Breton Court are so engaging on their own I don t feel bothered by my tenuous grasp of the whole King Arthur connection And the supernatural elements are subtle most of the time, though Dred s abilities grow and a couple other characters offer up some magical madness.Prez was pretty engaging this time around, as he tried to become a spy of sorts by getting involved with the gang activity on the Phoenix side of things Naptown Red, who didn t have quite the showing I was expecting after the conclusion of King s Justice, still managed to steal the show in several of the scenes he was in Then, Omarosa and her malevolent manipulations were in their full splendor leading up the climax Plus, Lott had an interesting turn, essentially hitting the streets like a guy with a death wish, a bit like a suicidal Charles Bronson in at least one scene.I m not sure if the book offers the kind of conclusion readers expect from the conventional urban fantasy novels, but Maurice s trilogy is anything but conventional and if it is, then someone point me to those books, please Dialogue, keen sense of history through the setting, and fully fleshed relationships help make this novel and the series stand out from the pack Now that Maurice is finished with Breton Court for now I ll be keeping an eye out for his next project.